Advertising
Advertising

17 Signs You Are Stepping Towards Success Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

17 Signs You Are Stepping Towards Success Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

Not sure if you’re on the right curve along the road to success?

There are lots of times when all of us feel that success is far from our reach. We feel that we’re struggling to make progress even though we’ve put in the effort. That’s okay. Be happy about the things you’ve already accomplished and show patience for what you have yet to achieve.

Quickly put behind you the things that weren’t successful. In other words, smile at your successes every day. Then push forward.

Check out these 17 signs that will prove that you certainly are on the road to success.

1.  You’re facing your fears and winning.

Previously, you froze when you started moving outside of your comfort zone. You were frightened you might fail. However, now that you have taken many small steps, it’s not as terrifying as you expected. You know that in order to be successful, you must push through your fears, and that’s just what you’re doing. You’re facing those fears head on. This is definitely is a sign of success.

Advertising

2.  You’ve accepted that failure is part of self growth – and that’s positive.

To you, failure is the jumping off point for having another go, but maybe changing your tactics to adjust would fair better. Your “I accept that failures are part of success” attitude has enabled you to use your creativity to solve problems and jump hurdles. Each setback is a new opportunity to start afresh. You have made a choice between letting failure hold you back, and viewing failure as a positive part of your journey. Well done!

3.  You believe in the power of focusing on today.

This has been a difficult concept to deal with, but eventually you accepted that your real life is happening right now. Your focus is on the present and on what you can do and create today. Yesterday is in the past and can’t be altered. The moment you start worrying about tomorrow or about an annoyance from yesterday, precious moments are lost that could have brought a boost to yourself or others.

4.  You realize that you can’t please everyone all the time.

What a huge step towards success was taken when you stopped trying to please everyone. You’ve found that some people just can’t be pleased, no matter what. You’ve found that there’s more than one way to do something. You do what you believe is right for you, and whatever works best. You’ve filled your life with people who really matter to you.

5.  You accentuate the positive thoughts in your mind.

It’s not easy to accentuate the positive because our minds are wandering from the past to the future throughout every waking moment. Replacing the negative with positive thoughts is only achieved through practise. You’ve found that having positive thoughts results in a calmer attitude, particularly when handling difficulties. You are also becoming competent at silencing your inner critic (who can be very harsh).

6.  You’ve stopped judging and blaming others.

At last, you’ve escaped from the habit of blaming other people for whatever happens to you. You know how to step back from the situation. You look at it from a different angle in order to find a creative solution. You’ve found you are calmer when you’re less judgmental. It’s easier to criticize, but instead you try to understand the other person’s point of view. This is an impressive step forward toward being successful.

Advertising

7.  You’ve started pursuing the things you’re passionate about.

You’ve made some changes so you can pursue your passion. That means you get up every day excited about working towards the day’s mini-goals. You have special talents and skills that enable you to contribute to the world and benefit others. You’re keen to use these skills to the best of your ability. You know you can do that only if you’re pursuing your passion.

8.  You take time to be grateful every day.

You’ve found that one great way to move towards success is to be grateful. As you wake up, you think of 5 things that you are grateful for. You also smile about things that are going well in your life. Again at night, you’re grateful for 5 things that went well during the day. You ask yourself, “In what ways was I successful today?” Being grateful helps you concentrate on positives.

9.  You avoid busyness and focus on effectiveness.

It’s easy to fill your day with being busy without achieving anything. If this pattern is repeated, it can lead to frustration and the feeling that success just isn’t within your grasp and never will be. So, you avoid busyness, focusing on making progress instead, little by little. You feel excited about what you’re achieving. You can see that you’re productive, efficient, and effective. It is this, and not busyness, that is your way to success.

10. You set yourself a goal to achieve every day.

You know that drifting along doesn’t lead to success, so you start each day with a plan. You have a clear list of jobs you’ll accomplish to move you closer to your vision. While you have wider goals for the future, you set yourself mini-goals for each week and each day. You know how you intend to reach your goals. Your vision is a vivid picture that dances in your mind.

11. You try to see positives in each setback or difficulty.

There’s a positive hidden in each setback or difficulty. Now, you look for those positives. No longer do you focus on the setbacks themselves, as you did in the past. You see beyond to the good things that accompany negative circumstances. You even get excited about obstacles because of the positive outcomes that can result. Obstacles can lead to places you never dreamed of.

Advertising

12. You’ve acknowledged that you don’t need to be perfect.

Some of the stress has been removed from your life, now that you’ve stopped striving for perfection. Actually, you have learned to accept yourself the way you are – vibrant and competent. You believe in yourself. You make mistakes just like all of us. You look at mistakes as “life’s little lessons” that make you a stronger person. A better version of yourself emerges from the mistakes and propels you forward.

13. You are aware that building self-confidence is a key to success.

Feeling confident gives calmness and sets people up for success. You have worked at becoming more confident and that is commendable. Confidence is a skill to acquire, if you are traveling the road to success. The key to becoming confident is to repeat a particular technique until you can do it comfortably. You’ll fail at the start (of course), but getting up and trying again is part of the process.

14. You give away smiles regularly – it’s a habit.

You smile at people you pass on the street. You toss a coin to buskers and make them smile. You send emails or text messages, praising friends for something they’ve accomplished. Sometimes you do it just because they are who they are. Smiling makes you calmer and happier inside. This attitude shines bright enough to influence others.

15. You’ve built up a support group of family and friends.

You’ve had to let go of some people who, in the past, dragged you down by making you stressed or anxious. Letting go is very difficult to do. It’s a huge step you’ve taken towards success, though. Instead, you have a support group of family and friends with whom you can laugh, discuss, confide, and plan. They love you for the wonderful person you are.

16. You’re doing what you want to do in life because you are in control.

Following your own path, and really enjoying the journey, is a sure-fire way to be successful. You don’t let other people’s opinions stop you from moving towards your dream. You feel empowered and in control of where you’re going. You’re comfortable with this situation.

Advertising

17. You consistently factor recreational activities into your routines.

You’re well on the way to success when you timetable exercise and recreational activities into your day. Taking time for yourself is essential in order to relax the mind and body before returning to the work environment. Go to the gym, run, play golf, meet friends for a chat and coffee, or do any other activity that you enjoy. It will recharge your batteries. You’ll feel refreshed, particularly if you do something outdoors.

Things aren’t as bad as you think, after all.

So, you ARE succeeding in life, aren’t you?

It’s okay if you’re not saying “yes” to all seventeen signs of success. Even if you acknowledge one of them, that’s a start. Be happy that you’ve started on the success journey, now go add another… and another.

Success is not a place you travel to, but a part of every day. Success takes effort and persistence. Appreciate your small achievements. Always focus on the positive things in your life.

Yes, you are stepping towards success, even when you don’t feel that you are.

Now, just keep going.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

More by this author

Real Story: “A Simple Act Of Kindness Changed My Life” 17 Signs You Are Stepping Towards Success Even If You Don’t Feel You Are 9 Empowering TED Talks That Will Zoom You Towards Success A Swimming Pool That Belongs To The Sky comfort zone 7 Exciting Things Will Happen When You Step Out From Your Comfort Zone

Trending in Communication

1 7 Hardest Languages to Learn For English Speakers 2 8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener 3 11 Tips for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Every Day 4 What Is the Meaning of Life? A Guide to Living With Meaning 5 How to Stop Being a Perfectionist (Step-by-Step Guide)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 22, 2020

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

What Makes People Poor Listeners?

Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

Advertising

I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

How To Be a Better Listener

For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

1. Pay Attention

A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

Advertising

I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

2. Use Positive Body Language

You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

According to Alan Gurney,[2]

“An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

Advertising

Be polite and wait your turn!

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

5. Just Listen

This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

6. Remember and Follow Up

Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

Advertising

Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

  1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
  2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

8. Maintain Eye Contact

When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

Final Thoughts

Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
[2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
[3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
[4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

Read Next